Starting around Thanksgiving and continuing into early January, it’s common to see noticeably lower traffic to your digital channels. This problem isn’t unique to healthcare. Unless you’re a holiday-themed company or you market and sell holiday gifts, your organization likely will feel the pain of the “December dip.”
In retail industries with ecommerce options, it’s easy to add a holiday label on certain products or services or casually work holiday lingo into static text or content marketing pieces. But in healthcare, it’s not that simple. Healthcare demand doesn’t magically increase over the holidays (it would be awful if it did!). Many people choose to put off appointments or procedures until after the holidays. And adding “holiday” to your blog article titles doesn’t always work (anyone up for a festive holiday colonoscopy?).
Thankfully, there are strategies you can implement quickly and relatively painlessly to help boost your traffic this holiday season. It’s unlikely that you’ll set any records without an outstanding or incredibly timely content angle. However, these tips can help drive more relevant visitors to your site without clickbaiting.
1. Think outside the (gift)box with your content topics
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I’ll never recommend keyword stuffing, or jamming an article with keywords in an attempt to drive search engine optimization. First, that’s terrible writing. Second, that’s not how Google operates anymore. Keywords are important, but relevance and usefulness are more important in today’s search results placement algorithms.
The holidays present an opportunity to get creative. You’ll likely see lots of heart-healthy recipes out there in December, but what about trying a story that focuses on how people might engage with each other? For example, the holidays are bustling and crowded, and there might be a need for bystander intervention if someone has a heart attack at the mall. An article about what to do in that situation would hit all the nails on their proverbial heads; relevance, usefulness, and holiday keywords. How-to articles can perform very well in search.
2. Get retrospective to deliver new-ish content
A fun idea for organizations with blogs is a “year in review” article. With the interesting and wide array of blog topics healthcare journalists had the opportunity to cover in 2017 (new blood pressure guidelines, the approval of CAR-T cell therapy in certain kids with leukemia, the solar eclipse), there’s a solid opportunity to make your content work overtime.
Create an intro recapping 2017, then list each article’s title with a short description and a link. Not only will you save your the time and energy needed to create new content, but you also will deliver content you know your audience finds interesting. It’s a win-win if your content is good.
3. Tweak your ad targeting
Think about who you are trying to reach with a piece of holiday content or a recap article, then expand to the ideal reader’s circle, too. For example, if you typically target women age 25 to 40 for pregnancy content, consider broadening the audience to include men and older women. As families gather over the holidays, the topic of babies likely will come up. Being top-of-mind to potential grandmas, aunts, and dads will expand the pool of people you might reach through social media shares, ad clicks, and good old-fashioned word of mouth.
Before you start to worry about your “December dip,” remember that it’s normal, particularly in healthcare. After the holidays, your audience will be recharged and ready to work on their health again. And your great content will be there to help inform and educate them in 2018.